Love them or Hate them, Santa Ana becomes first OC City to officially test dockless scooters
Some love them, some hate them -- but dockless scooters are a fun transportation trend that may be here to stay.
If you haven't heard of these scooters? They've appeared in urban centers for the last few years with City responses ranging from injunctions and impoundings to crafting operating agreements with data and revenue-sharing agreements.
While many cities faulter when the speed of technology grapples with the speed of goverment, The City of Santa Ana acted swiftly and adopted the first resolution in Orange County to allow dockless scooter companies to deploy up to 500 scooters on the bike lanes and streets of Santa Ana.
The transportation initative was presented by the Public Works department who are embracing this transportation revolution that is confounding many cities and being adjusted to in real-time by both urban planners and the rest of us. The pilot program allows scooter companies to secure permits to operate in the City for 3 months at a cost of $1,200 with other provisions including indemnifying the City, educating the public and sharing ride data.
Some concerns raised by the City Council before approving the trial period were whether the scooters may clutter sidewalks or cause damage that the City will be held liable for. Mayor Pro Tem Villegas further pointed out that the City holds over 200 impounded scooters from a previously unauthorized deployment. After concerns were assuaged by City staff, the Mayor explained the advanced capabilities of the scooter company to oversee their operation.
"They can actually slow the scooters down in sensitive areas like 4th Street or by a school," said Mayor Pulido. He exuberantly added that the trial will provide the City with useful transportation data that could help with pedestrian safety. Downtown Councilmember David Penaloza explained how he recently visited New Orleans where he preferred to get around on similar alternative transportation to explore that city.
Representatives from both Lime and Bird, two prominent dockless scooter proiders were present and expressed that they have their paperwork ready and will be purusing scooter deployments in Santa Ana immediately.
Story by Ryan Smolar
Photos by Brian Feinzimer